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Pixel Watch won’t be a proper Fitbit replacement – here’s why

The Google Pixel Watch may promise smartwatch fanciers the “best of Google and Fitbit” but it seems there are a couple of significant omissions on the health/fitness side.

As pointed out by ConnectTheWatts (via 9to5Google), the Pixel Watch will not support Fitbit’s automatic workout tracking or irregular heart rhythm notifications.

The most important absence is probably the automatic workout tracking, which is calculated whenever the wearer’s heart rate is elevated to a certain figure. So, if you forget to start your tracker, or just break into a jog randomly, it’ll count towards your workout goals.

It works for walks, runs, outdoor biking, elliptical, sports like basketball, aerobics, and swimming on a range of Fitbit products, but not on the Pixel Watch. Speaking of swimming, the Pixel Watch doesn’t have support for identifying and tracking different swim strokes either.

The irregular heart rhythm notifications, meanwhile, can help users check for the potentially-deadly atrial fibrillation (AFib) heart condition. That checker is available on a range of Charge, Inspire, Sense, and Versa products, but not on the Pixel Watch.

Also missing from the Pixel Watch’s feature list are other noteworthy Fitbit tools, available on many of the company’s devices. It is without the Sleep Profile feature, stress notifications, EDA sensors, SpO2 tracking, and the guided breathing sessions.

Google has been asked about whether these are genuinely missing from the line-up, or just unlisted, but has yet to respond. We’ve emailed the company for clarification too.

Following the launch event yesterday, we did learn Google is bringing a Fall Detection feature to the Pixel Watch, just not out of the box. In a blog post, the company wrote: “Fall detection (coming in 2023) can sense if you’ve taken a hard fall, connecting you to emergency services and even auto-dialling if you’re unresponsive.”

So don’t be falling over and hurting yourself until next year!

Google bought Fitbit in 2019 for $2.1 billion and has been slowly integrating it within its products ever since. The newer Wear OS operating system has been built alongside the Fitbit team, but it seems the company is yet to all integrate features from the Fitbit OS.

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